Water Quality

Lake George Association November 2020 newsletter:

Investigating Harmful Algal Bloom On LG:
What We Are Doing, What You Can Do
The Harmful Algal Bloom on Lake George has been identified now in Harris Bay, Sandy Bay and Warner Bay — and in the water in the Village of Lake George.
This is a serious problem. We have serious work ahead. 
The Harmful Algal Bloom (shown here as it was discovered on Saturday) was only identified because of an alert LGA member, who knew that something wasn’t right and reported it to the Lake George Association. DEC’s explanation of what a Harmful Algal Bloom is can be found here: https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/77118.html
The follow-up and initial identification was all done by the LGA’s Kristen Wilde, whose family has lived on the Lake for generations.
The LGA sounded the alarm, and marshaled the resources needed to investigate the bloom quickly.
Here’s what else the LGA is doing for our Lake:
  • Collecting water samples in affected areas.
  • Having water samples tested to identify the cyanobacteria and potential level of toxin. We will report out when we know more.
  • Investigating the spread – we have staff in the field throughout the day to learn all we can about this particular outbreak.
  • Keeping partners (including the state) apprised of our work, and the investigation.
  • Sharing correct, truthful information.
  • Revising our Action Plan for the next few days, next few weeks – and what we need to specifically do in the coming months and year.
We need your help to prevent future outbreaks. Here’s what you can do now:
We’ve all got to act now if we want to protect the water quality of our Lake.
If you see changes in the water around your property, please take a photo and note the location and send it to: kwilde@lakegeorgeassociation.org.
Nothing substitutes for being alert,
or for having enough boots on the ground
to get the job done. And it helps the LGA to have
more than 2,000 sets of eyes out in the community
helping to watch over the Lake.
We need to enlist everyone around the watershed
in this new army to stop the nutrients — it’s all part of
the LGA’s mission of direct, active water quality protection.
Sincerely,

Walt Lender,
LGA Executive Director

DEC Confirms LG Cyanobacteria Strain – Lake George Association, November 12, 2020

We are pleased to be able to report that the New York State DEC has confirmed our initial identification of the cyanobacteria that caused the Harmful Algal Bloom: a type of Dolichospermum, seen below.
The pictured Dolichospermums came from the water samples taken by the LGA in Harris Bay on Monday. The photo was also taken on an LGA office microscope.
Dolichospermum is planktonic – a single cell cyanobacteria that floats and moves on its own in the water like plankton.
When it blooms, Dolichospermum can produce toxins that can affect nerves, liver, and irritate skin.
DEC is still officially determining whether there were toxins in the water. Indications are that we won’t hear until late tomorrow or Monday. We will let you know when DEC sends us the information.“We understand the full investigation will take time, though we all are impatient for the results,” said Walt Lender,
the LGA’s Executive Director.“What is important now is to understand – as thoroughly as possible – what happened, why it happened, and what was the extent of it.”
“We know that everyone on the Lake has work to do,” Walt said.
“Everyone needs to focus on ways to stop the nutrient-rich polluted stormwater from getting into the Lake everywhere it is happening. Putting those projects in place from Lake George Village to Ticonderoga is Priority One.
Significantly Helpful Photo Evidence
Thank you, thank you, and thank you.After receiving literally hundreds of photos from our members and friends, we feel like we are getting a better handle on what was seen in the Lake over the last week or so.
Kristen Wilde, our Director of Education, and Emily Boucher, our Environmental Educator, were especially joyful at your encouraging response – a response that is helping us put together this puzzle for Lake George.For now, please keep them coming! In case you didn’t see our request before, we are looking for photos taken of the Lake’s surface anytime after October 20.
Please send the photo, the date it was taken and the photo location to Director of Education Kristen Wilde at kwilde@lakegeorgeassociation.orgAdditionally, if you are planning to be at the Lake over the weekend, please take a photo of the water along your shoreline or dock. Please indicate the location and date, and send it to Kristen as well.
We are planning to compile the photos and share them with all of our partners at a planned meeting as part of our report on all of our activities so far tracking this serious outbreak.
Expanding The Effort   
As part of our whole-Lake effort to determine the cause and the extent of the outbreak, we have reached out to a dozen organizations and municipalities who are planning to join us at a meeting to discuss the investigation, including our theories about the potential origin, and discuss the work ahead. We will keep you posted on the discussion and our next steps.

 

Glass Lake 2018 CSLAP

[Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program Report]

https://nysfola.org/wp-content/uploads/CSLAP/cslrpt18glassl.pdf

Glass Lake 2017 CSLAP

https://nysfola.org/wp-content/uploads/CSLAP/GlassL_2017CSLAPReport.pdf

For Rensselaer County Water Reports visit DEC site (click here).

June 2018

Common Aquatic Invasive Species of NY

Brazilian Elodea stems have numerous branches and can grow over 20 ft. in length. Is often confused with hydrilla and native elodea. Lance-shaped leaves are about 1/8 inches wide and 1.5 inches long and often have very minute teeth along the edges that may require magnification to see. Leaves are arranged in whorls around the stem with each whorl composed of 4 to 6 leaves. The number of leaves per whorls doubles or triples every 8 to 12 nodes. These “double nodes” are the only place where branches occur along the stem.

Brittle Naiad leaves are opposite (in pairs along the stem), but sometimes appear to be in a whorl at the tip. Leaves are 1-2 inches long, toothed, stiff and pointed. Plant is very brittle and easily breaks into pieces.

Curly-leaf Pondweed stems are branched and somewhat flattened. Leaves are reddish-brown in color, oblong and about 3 inches long. Leaves are usually stiff and crinkled and unlike other pondweeds have finely toothed edges.

European Frogbit floating leaves are heart-shaped and 1-2 inches wide. They resemble the leaves of a miniature waterlily, veined on top and dark purplish red with a spongy coating on the underside. The plant has numerous roots up to 12 inches in length that float freely under the plant.

Eurasian Watermilfoil stems are usually 3 to 10 feet in length and can range from pale pink to reddish brown in color. Bright green feathery leaves are finely divided and occur in whorls (circles) around the stem. Each leaf has 12-21 leaflet pairs. Native northern watermilfoil which it can commonly be confused with has 5-10 leaflet pairs.

Fanwort stems are long and appear tubular. Leaves are fan-like with a short stem and are arranged opposite each other on the stem. Plants have white to light pink flowers that float on the surface.

Hydrilla plants looks very similar to Brazilian elodea and other native Elodeas. Northern plants often lack the spiny underleaf and finely toothed leaves may be difficult to see. Best distinguishing characteristic is the turion or bulb connected to its roots that the other plants lack.

Variable Leaf Milfoil leaves are similar to Eurasian watermilfoil except each leaf has 5-14 leaflets. As the stem reaches the surface it changes its growth pattern to become a stout emergent flower-spike carrying an entirely different type of leaf. These emergent leaves are stalkless, wedge-shaped, stiff, and pointed, with variably-toothed margins.

Water Chestnut stems are very flexible and can reach 12 to 15 ft. in length. On the waters surface the plant contains a circular cluster of saw-toothed edged, triangular floating leaves that are connected to an inflated petiole (bladder) that provides added floatation. Feather-like leaves can be found along the submerged stem. Fruit is a nut with four 1/2 inch barbed spines.

Parrot Feather woody stems can grow over 5 feet in length, often extending outward onto the bank or shore. Emergent leaves are bright blue-green, rigid and deeply serrated. Leaves are arranged in whorls of 4-6 around the stem, with each leaf containing 10-18 segments. The leaves can extend 12″ out of the water and look like miniature fir trees. The underwater leaves are red-brown in color and have 20-30 segments per leaf. They appear to be decaying and are often confused with Eurasian watermilfoil leaves.

Creeping Water Primrose leaves are willow-like and are alternately arranged on hollow red stems. Young leaves may be rounded. Has bright yellow flowers from spring – fall. Sprawling growth habit that forms dense mats.

***

June 2017

Water Quality Committee

We have an active Water Quality Committee in place which is collaborating with the New York State Federation of Lake Associations [NYSFOLA] and the DEC to monitor the quality of the water in Glass Lake.  Members of this committee  –  Dave and Linda Cairns; Barth Neitzel; Jeff Clark and Al Aita have recently completed a full days training in Hamilton, NY on how to collect and handle water specimens taken at different lake depths so they can then be sent on to the DEC for analyses.  This information and its interpretation will then be sent to us.

June 17, 2017 was the second day for collecting samples, which are taken every 2 weeks for 10 weeks during the summer months with a 5 year commitment.  As such we owe these individuals a round of thanks for the time they have already put into this and to their long term commitment to this program.

Their efforts highlight for us the stewardship responsibility that we all have for our lake, and the need to avoid any possible pollution.

At the Annual Meeting of June 17, 2017, the membership discussed the issue of inadvertent oil and gas spills, and the importance of not putting any foreign objects into the lake.

DEC Making Waves Newsletter

DEC Press Releases

Diet for a Small Lake – Written in 2009 as part of a collaboration between the DEC Division of Water and the New York State Federation of Lake Associations, the second edition of Diet for a Small Lake is a significantly updated version of the 1990 publication sharing the same name.  HTML version

New York State Federation of Lake Associations (NYSFOLA)

New York State Invasive Species Information